Heres a headline recently run by the Daily Mash, as humerous as it is deadly serious. The debate is centered around;
Social change - pub-going has been declining steadily for thirty years as people opt instead to stay in their nice warm living rooms watching TV, listening to music and annoying friends on Facebook
Smoking bans - the smoking ban accelerated this change by making pubs less attractive for the 60% or more of regular drinkers who are also smokers. They too have opted for home or for the converted garage
Beer Taxes - the ever-increasing duty on beer makes it more of a luxury meaning that people go to the pub less often and drink less beer when they get there. And that beer is cheaper at the supermarket fitted well with staying at home instead
Moderation - yes folks, we're drinking less, quite a lot less. And most of that reduction since 2002 has been in the pubs, bars and clubs
(Simon Cooke) Social change - So you cant have a pint and drive home, You cant have fag while sipping a cold one at the bar, whats the alternative? Sitting at home staring at your computer whether: your listening to music on spotify, watching other peoples status for something more intereting than what they had for lunch or hoping someone replies to something you've posted. How many nights in with the same people; hosting dinner parties, barbeques, playing x-box or listening to the mrs can you take. When all is said and done theres the cleaning up, restocking the cupboards, fixing the thing someone broke and the water bill for all that loo flushing. Smoking ban - has had the single biggest effect on pubs since the drink driving laws. Since 2007 even the steadiest of pubs has seen a steady decline in business. It is unwise to leave your drink unguarded while nipping out for a fag, especially for a woman. Standing outside your local, glass in hand, while trying to light a fag is awkward. The cluster of people and associated smoke cloud is hardly the best advert for an establishment. Beer taxes - When you find that you can get stock items cheaper from your corner shop than you can from your wholesalers you have to wonder where the real problem lies. Supermarkets using their buying power is one thing but the corner shop? Economics - The one thing I havent seen mentioned in most of these debates is the lack of money in cirulation. Rising unemployment says those with money may choose to stay in but for many others it is not a choice. A couple of cans at the weekend while watching MOTD is as good as it gets for some. As with everything in life it comes down to you! If your happy having your future dictated to you then by all means stand on the side lines. Landlords up and down the country have been patiently waiting for the night you fancy poping out, but as the closures show they wont be waiting forever. Those of you in a position to act should do so. If your local is not as it should be: dont vote with your feet put pressure on your landlord, loby the council, do something. Demonstrate some resistance to the stay at home culture that is being cultivated for us all. Be the change you want to see!